Another busy month of racing takes place in April and here we’ll guide you though the big races this month.
7th – 9th April – Aintree
There is no doubt that biggest meeting of the month comes from Aintree and it isn’t all about the Grand National here as we have three outstanding days of racing.
This meeting is turning into a top festival now on the opening day we have four Grade Ones to get stuck into.
The four-year-old Juvenile Hurdle is likely to see Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbatov entered and he is sure to take all of the beating. There can sometimes be an unexposed type come into this race though and it has produced some really impressive winners in the past.
There’s also the Aintree Hurdle, which is a two and a half mile encounter, which could see Nichols Canyon and Annie Power go head-to-head.
If anything, this race will suit both horses more than the Champion Hurdle and it would be great to see them both in action.
The Betfred Bowl is also on the Thursday and Silviniaco Conti has won this the last two years. However, he goes for the Grand National this year and it will be interesting to see who is entered in this contest.
The final Grade One on the opening day is the Manifesto Novices’ Chase. Sometimes it can be worth going with horses that have skipped Cheltenham and not had a hard race before coming here. It wouldn’t be one where you’d want to have much of an ante-post play.
The Friday sees three Grade Ones will the highlight of them the Melling Chase, which saw this year’s Gold Cup winner Don Cossack bolt up in the race last season under the champ AP McCoy. He won’t be running this year, but there will be a top quality field.
The Mildmay Novices’ Chase is always a race with a potential star in it. The last four winners of the race have seen Silviniaco Conti, Dynaste, Holywell and Saphir Du Rheu come out on top and we may see some of the RSA Chase field in this one, including the game and likeable winner, Blaklion.
The Sefton Novices’ hurdle completes the Grade Ones on day two of the Grand National meeting and the outstanding Thistlecrack won this last year. Amazingly, he was a 25/1 shot on that day and who knew what he would then go onto achieve. This is another race which often suits horses who have missed Cheltenham.
The Saturday is all about the Grand National of course, but there is also another three Grade Ones, including the Stayers’ Hurdle, where we will hopefully see the World Hurdle winner Thistlecrack in action.
If he runs, he is sure to be a short price and one of the bankers of the meeting. It will be great to see him again.
Also on the Saturday is the Maghull Novices’ Chase, which is often taken by horses who have run in the Arkle at Cheltenham.
There’s the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle on the Saturday as well and is a two and a half mile contest.
We may see the likes of Yorkhill and Yanworth in this and Willie Mullins took the race with Nichols Canyon last year. Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson also have a good record in the race.
That’s what Aintree has to offer and I think you’ll agree that takes centre stage this month.
However, there are other big fixtures including the Craven meeting at Newmarket, which takes place on the 12-14th April.
The Scottish Grand National comes from Ayr on the 16th of the Month and there’s also the Greenham Stakes from Newbury on this day.
The Jumps season then finishes at Sandown Park on the 22nd of the month.